Zeltsman Marimba Festival 2015 will be at Rutgers University

The 13th season of the Zeltsman Marimba Festival will be held at Rutgers University at the Mason Gross School of the Arts on June 28th – July 11th, 2015. This year’s ZMF will feature the largest ever faculty and guest list including: Pius Cheung, Emmanuel Sejourne, Julie Spencer, Gordon Stout, Mike Truesdell, Jack Van Geem, and Nancy Zeltsman.

Guest composers include Paul Lansky, Daniel Levitan, Steven Mackey, Andrew Thomas, and Ivan Trevino.

One additional option is to attend the “ZMF Weekend” from July 3rd – July 5th. This option is for those who cannot make it for the entire 2-weeks but still want to attend the 3 evening concerts and 10 talks/masterclasses. You cannot beat this incredible price for what you are getting for this weekend of fantastic marimba performances.

Registration opens on February 1, 2015 so start planning for a great summer in New Jersey now!

Reason for starting a marimba blog

Thomas Burritt has a wonderful web site that includes a weekly podcast called Percussion Axiom. Each week he discusses an aspect of the percussion happenings and many of them are focused on the marimba.

I first saw Tom at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) in 2000 where he participated in the New Music Day for Marimba. A copy of that program is available as a PDF. Since this was my first PASIC I didn’t introduce myself to too many people as I was still in awe at the sheer talent and magnitude of the percussion event. I will post more about PASIC in a future entry.

One of the very cool things in a recent episode of Percussion Axiom TV, was Tom’s suggestion to learn a marimba piece together as an online community. When I heard about this I was thrilled and scared! I wasn’t a music major in college (most of my friend’s were) so I didn’t spent 6 hours in the practice room. However, I do own a 5-octave MarimbaOne and I am as highly motivated as someone can be about a percussion instrument!

There was an online vote as to which piece to play and we started 2 weeks ago. As I started working on the piece, I noticed that I had more to say than what could be said in a comment on Tom’s web site or via Twitter, so I decided it was time to make a marimba blog.

I bought www.jeffsass.com years ago because it was available so now is a great time to use it. So here we are! I am a marimbist with a blog and I am going to use it to better the percussion community and help foster a discussion about not only the piece we are learning together but any marimba topic in general.

Welcome to MarimbaSass

Hi everyone – welcome to my marimba blog. The purpose of this blog is to talk about anything related to the marimba and the never ending pursuit of creating fantastic musical experiences on a non-standard instrument.

For my initial post instead of a long-winded introduction and background of who I am and why I am doing this I am instead going to jump right in to the matter at hand. So join the conversation and head over to my second post.